Associate Urban Data/GIS Expert (multiple positions)

  • Contractor
  • Kyiv Ukraine
  • TBD USD / Year
  • UN Human Settlements Program profile

  • Job applications may no longer being accepted for this opportunity.

UN Human Settlements Program

Functional title: Associate Urban Data/GIS Expert (multiple positions)
Duty station of assignment: Kiev, Ukraine
Contract modality: International ICA
Grade: IICA-1
Duration of assignment: Six months (with possibility of extension)


UN-Habitat, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable and resilient towns and cities. It is the focal point agency for all urbanization and human settlement matters within the UN system. UN-Habitat envisions well-planned, well-governed and efficient cities and towns, with adequate housing, infrastructure and universal access to employment and basic services such as water, energy, and sanitation. Responding to crisis and post-crisis context is part of UN-Habitat’s mandate and strategic plan.

In Ukraine, UN-Habitat is supporting national and subnational governments in their recovery efforts, linking short term reconstruction needs to longer term resilience solutions. At national level, UN-Habitat provides support to the government of Ukraine on the development of national policies and instruments that guide regional and local governments’ recovery. The programme also strives to increasing Ukrainian urban planning and design capacities, through support to academia, think tanks and practitioners among others. At local level, UN-Habitat provides support to recovery planning efforts of local governments, through its Urban Lab established in Kyiv.

The Urban Planning Lab (Urban Lab) is an entity for UN-Habitat to promptly respond to and support national and local governments in achieving sustainable urban development. The Urban Lab is the integrative facility of the Agency where innovative processes and partnerships are translated into tangible and transformative solutions to complex urban challenges, including urban recovery processes.

The Urban Lab brings together multidisciplinary teams of local and international urban planners, environmental, data-science, mobility, legal and financial experts, providing holistic and proactive approaches to sustainable urbanization in cities and towns globally. Hence, the Urban Lab embeds the necessary thematic disciplines, experts, actors and stakeholders to respond to requests, also in crisis and post-crisis contexts. The Urban Lab acts as a neutral broker, managing knowledge in complex stakeholder settings to resolve multi-sectoral, multi-scalar and multi-stakeholder challenges.

The Urban Lab applies an integrated approach to systemic and strategic urban planning to deliver transformative change for sustainable urbanization and to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the New Urban Agenda.

The Urban Lab addresses the complexity and challenges of cities and regions by translating these global and other development frameworks into concrete actionable solutions into the built environment through development of local strategies and plans for urban transformation, and by bridging the gap between policy and physical implementation (capital investment planning). Informed by evidence-based data analysis, spatial and non-spatial strategic responses and solutions are developed in partnership with stakeholders to ensure sustainable urban development outcomes. Hereby, the Urban Lab supports the positioning of the Agency as a Centre of Excellence for urban planning and design. The Urban Lab falls under the Planning, Finance and Economy Section, which is part of the Urban Practices Branch and the Global Solutions Division.

Rationale and context of the assignment

UN-Habitat has been called upon to support early recovery in Ukraine to promote urban and territorial recovery and regeneration towards a greener, more resilient, healthy and inclusive urban future. The Ukrainian government has a strong ambition to ‘build back better’, where urban recovery planning and design on territorial, town and neigborhood level can play a vital role in making cities and towns more sustainable and resilient. Aspects such as mixed land use, provision of housing and public space, improved access to public and social services and functions will be important, including promotion of local economic development. Similarly, there is a need to revisit and update instruments and frameworks for urban planning and housing, especially their application on local level for reconstruction of the built environment. UN-Habitat’s support will inform progress towards implementation of the SDG’s and New Urban Agenda.

UN-Habitat’s support builds upon three main inter-linked components; 1) support to the national government and ministries for the improvement of regulatory frameworks and instruments for a sustainable urban recovery; 2) support to urban and territorial recovery towards more inclusive, green and healthy urban recovery in selected regions (Oblasts) and municipalities (hromadas); 3) strengthened urban planning capacity among urban stakeholders, and specifically within public institutions.

For component two, UN-Habitat and the Urban Lab is initially targeting urban recovery support to 5 hromadas (or clusters thereof), for the development of urban profiles and the subsequent preparation of urban recovery plans in the short-, medium- and long term development perspective.

UN-Habitat will also support the development of digital solutions and tools for enhanced data capacity of national and local governments in Ukraine, for climate resilient recovery planning, reconstruction and cities and neighborhoods and development towards people-centered smart cities. This workstream is implemented by UNITAC (United Nations Innovation Technology Accelerator for Cities), a collaboration between UN-Habitat, OICT and the HafenCity University in Hamburg.

UN-Habitat and the Urban Lab is now planning to engage consultants within various thematic fields to support urban recovery planning on territorial, urban area (cities, towns) and neighborhood level. For this position, UN-Habitat and the Urban Lab is seeking expertise on urban data and GIS to primarily engage in the preparations of urban profiles and subsequent urban recovery plans.

Duties and main responsibilities

UN-Habitat’s Urban Lab in Kyiv which will function as the implementing entity of the project in close collaboration and coordination with the Urban Lab at UN-Habitat’s Headquarters in Nairobi. The incumbent will report directly to the Head of the Urban Lab in Kyiv and the designated technical lead for the project. The incumbent is expected to fulfill the following general duties and responsibilities, as part of the Urban Lab in Kyiv:

  • Advise and work collaboratively as part of the designated team to analyze, collect, compile and interpret data to guide and inform the project, specifically on urban profiling and recovery planning;
  • Support and contribute to the development and application of methodologies and guidelines on evidence-based spatial analysis to be implemented in the project;
  • Develop analytical and diagnostic maps, drawings/graphics and related reports to inform urban profiling and recovery planning;
  • Contribute to the development of clear planning proposals, including drawings and related documents for urban recovery planning;
  • Develop critical analysis of existing planning documents and instruments with GIS support;
  • Undertake reviews and assessments of relevant policies and strategies related to urban data and document findings in short briefing notes;
  • Develop capacity gap assessments and corresponding training materials (when needed) for GIS, remote sensing, data analysis, visualization and deliver workshops / training events;
  • Liaise, coordinate and collaborate with UNITAC, implementing partners and other stakeholders on tools and methodologies for collection and management of urban data, in particular for the preparation of urban profiling and urban recovery planning outputs;
  • Develop and organize participatory, multi-stakeholder processes tailored for stakeholders within the project;
  • Provide technical backstopping to the Urban Lab in Kyiv on urban profiling and urban recovery planning for select territories and urban areas;
  • Draft concept papers and short progress reports for implementation of urban recovery activities, for documentation, knowledge management, advocacy and outreach.

Results Expected:

The ultimate result of this assignment is to provide strategic and technical support to sustainable recovery and urbanization of cities and towns, including the implementation and localization of the SDG’s and New Urban Agenda.

Reporting requirements

The Urban Data/GIS Expert will work under the overall supervision of the Head of the Urban Lab and the direct supervision by the designated technical lead, both in Kyiv, Ukraine. The expert will collaborate closely with UN-Habitat’s Urban Lab and country office representation in Ukraine, as well as, the Urban Lab at UN-Habitat’s headquarters, Nairobi, Kenya.

Outputs and Expected Deliverables

The incumbent is required to provide various project outputs as above and submit a monthly report that details the project activities and achievements, ensuring transparency and accountability throughout the assignment.

Working location and travel

The assignment is expected to be conducted from the UN-Habitat office in Kyiv. Travel to field locations required for site visits, technical missions and engagement with stakeholders and partners will be covered by UN-Habitat. In the event that the consultant cannot relocate to Ukraine, alternative work arrangements, including missions, reporting, and communication methods, will be discussed and agreed upon.


Professional: Technological Awareness. Keeps abreast of available technology, understands applicability and limitations of technology to the work of the office, actively seeks to apply technology to appropriate tasks, shows willingness to learn new technology. Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed; Excellent drafting ability and communications skills, both oral and written; proven ability to communicate complex concepts orally; Ability to prepare written reports that are clear, concise and meaningful. Team work: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings. Client orientation: Considers all those to whom services are provided to be “clients ” and seeks to see things from clients’ point of view; Establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect; Identifies clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions; Monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients’ environment to keep informed and anticipate problems; Keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects; Meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client. Planning and Organizing: Ability to prioritize activities and assignments and to easily switch between different projects.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Advanced university degree (master’s degree or equivalent) in Architecture, Urban Development, Geography, Urban Planning and Design, or a related field.
  • A first-level university degree in combination with two (2) additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.


  • A minimum of four years of relevant work experience in the field of urban development and planning and design (and/or related fields) with direct proven experience of programme/project management is required;
  • Direct proven experience of data-driven urban planning projects/processes, in combination with e.g. urban resilience, mobility, project finance, and/or data systems is required;
  • Proven experience in software for urban planning, e.g. GIS, data analysis, visualization and production of maps is required;
  • Understanding of and experience from managing urban data is required;
  • Experience working in the public sector, e.g. local governments is considered an asset;
  • Experience from the country or from other urban crisis/post-crisis contexts is an asset;
  • Experience working on social change projects is an asset;
  • Leading, designing and managing capacity building processes is an asset;
  • Working knowledge and understanding of the Sustainable Development Goals (and their monitoring/evaluation) and of the New Urban Agenda is an asset;
  • Working experience with international development agencies and in particular the United Nations is an asset.


  • Fluency in written and spoken English is required.

Special Considerations:

The candidate should be familiar with, and committed to the goals of UN-Habitat, and have:

  • Clear knowledge and understanding of theories, concepts and approaches to urban development, planning and design, particularly in an international development context including crisis and/or post-crisis contexts;
  • Strong analytical skills of urban form, urban systems, underlying social, legal and financial mechanisms and the political context;
  • Excellence in GIS software use, data analysis and maps production.
  • Good analytic and design skills in regional and city-wide planning and design is required.
  • Research and analytical skills is required.
  • Ability to develop strong graphic materials (concept plans, diagrams) as well as substantive reports;
  • Strong communications skills, including writing, presenting and facilitating workshops;
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team in multi-national/ cultural environment and flexibility in understanding and accepting different assignments;
  • Ability to lead and provide technical guidance to an international team;
  • Ability to work under pressure, prioritize and meet deadlines; work well under time constraints while retaining attention to detail; and
  • Ability to manage data, documents, correspondence and reports information and workflow.

How to apply

Interested candidates must submit an email quoting in the email subject the post title and the duty station to the UN-Habitat Ukraine Programme, email address: [email protected] with the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications:

  1. Cover letter addressing precisely how the applicant meets the qualifications and requirements.
  2. Completion of a CV in P11 Form which can be downloaded at:

The CV shall include information on the past experience in similar projects and at least 3 references.

Deadline for applications: 29 January 2024

Please note that applications received after the closing date stated below, will not be given consideration. Only short-listed candidates whose applications respond to the above criteria will be contacted for an interview.

Deadline: 29-Jan-24

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